Over the past few years, doing business in bitcoins was a risky affair. Countless centralized services such as Mt.Gox, Bitstamp and others have suffered serious security breaches in the past. But now, Case, a bitcoin wallet, is about to put an end to this as this start-up has built one of the most secure hardware-based bitcoins wallets in the world. The start-up has launched this hardware device at Disrupt NY.
According to an expert, there’s no easy and secure way to use bitcoin. We either get security or ease-of-use while using it. But the device launched by Case serves both purposes, security as well as ease-of-use.
Case is a small credit card-shaped device with a tiny screen, a fingerprint sensor, a camera, a built-in GSM chip and a few buttons. Anytime we want to make a bitcoin transaction, we press the bitcoin button, scan the QR code with the camera, swipe our finger and we’re done. Everything happens on the device automatically, there is no need to log in with a complicated password or use a smartphone app. Bitcoins can even be bought or sold from this device.
Behind the scene, Case provides a highly secure multisignature wallet. Two signatures are needed to make a transaction. When we first start the device, a private key is generated on the device itself. This private key is generated by the user and it stays on it forever. Case also stores a key in it’s encrypted online database. Transactions are only signed by the server if the fingerprint scan matches the user’s biometric data. The small device communicates with these servers using its built-in GSM chip. Case works like the Kindle with 3G connectivity, meaning that the device can be used in more than a hundred countries around the world without a need for subscription.
But what if we lose our Case Wallet? As we need two signatures to send bitcoins using Case, we won’t be able to recover our bitcoins. But fortunately, the startup has a backup plan; t stores a third key in its offline vault. We can retrieve this key after proving our identity to the company. It costs around $199 and will ship this summer after more than a year of hard work. The company has started taking pre-orders as well. This is going to be game changer in the online payments industry as it gives security over traditional web wallets along with ease of use.